17th December 2014
Com-mit-ment (noun) Staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left.
Not long now, a week today there will be millions of over excitable children throughout the land and equally as many stressed out parents! Luckily I won’t be one of them, instead I’ll be getting up to run my last meetings of the year before a well deserved weeks holiday and boy am I looking forward to that.
I was chuffed to bits yesterday to come home to a house full of laughter, my sister-in-law was entertaining my mom and she’d also hovered through the entire house for me, cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen and tidied the living, what an absolute star! My brother was outside sorting out a leak on our alleyway and he’d put in the new light fitting I bought earlier in the year but couldn’t do myself. They leave today unfortunately, it’s been a flying visit but it’s been lovely seeing them and moms enjoyed it too.
So now it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, anyone who knows me knows I’m not a huge fan of cake but I’m a sucker for a warm muffin, and thanks to Nigella, I think that’s exactly what we’ll be having Christmas morning! Here’s her recipe and can I say I’ve never made a ‘bad’ Nigella recipe, she is to me the queen of the kitchen for sure and I know these will be worth 6pp each (less than the bacon sarnie which would have been the other option) and as you will have a day of feasting including that Christmas dinner to accommodate you don’t need a huge breakfast too, so a warm muffin smelling of Christmas, well that’s sounds divine to me. Also if you measure out the dry ingredients the night before and put the muffin cases in the muffin tin, you don't need to do anything more labour intensive on Christmas morning itself than preheat your oven, whisk up a few runny ingredients in a jug and stir them into the waiting bowl. Then dollop the batter into the prepared muffin cases and all's sweet - and smelling of cinnamony, orange-scented Christmas.
Christmas morning muffins
Serves 12, 6pp each.
250 grams plain flour (24pp)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100 grams caster sugar (11pp)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or good grating of fresh nutmeg)
2 Clementine’s (or Satsuma’s)
Approx. 125 ml full fat milk (2pp)
75 ml vegetable oil (19pp) (or melted butter left to cool slightly – 16pp)
1 large egg (3pp)
175 grams dried cranberries (15pp)
3 teaspoons Demerara sugar (for the topping) (2pp)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF. Line a 12-bun muffin tin with muffin papers or (as I have here) silicone inserts.
2. Measure the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl; grate the zest of the Clementine/Satsuma over, and combine. If you are doing this in advance, leave the zesting till Christmas morning.
3. Squeeze the juice of the Clementine’s/Satsuma’s into a measuring jug, and pour in the milk until it comes up to the 200ml mark / halfway between the ¾ cup and 1 cup marks.
4. Add the oil (or slightly cooled, melted butter) and egg, and lightly beat until just combined.
5. Pour this liquid mixture into the bowl of dried ingredients and stir until everything is more or less combined, remembering that a well-beaten mixture makes for heavy muffins: in other words a lumpy batter is a good thing here.
6. Fold in the cranberries, then spoon the batter into the muffin cases and sprinkle the Demerara sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the air should be thick with the promise of good things and the good things themselves golden brown and ready to be eaten, either plain or broken up and smeared, as you go, with unsalted butter and marmalade.
I may need to do a trial run I think!
6pp isn’t bad for a muffin when you look how much some of them are, McDonald’s Chocolate muffin 14pp, Costa Ginger Muffin 13pp, even the Starbucks skinny blueberry on is 8pp! Waitrose coffee shops do a triple chocolate muffin for 15pp! That’s the highest on the Weight Watcher database by the looks of it!
All this talk about food, I better get the kettle on and make a cuppa so I can crack on with my day, still 8 meetings to do this week, after seeing all my wonderful Willenhall members yesterday, I’ve still got Ashmore Park and Bloxwich to look forward too.
Have a great day BeYOUtiful, go open the 17 on your advent calendar!